Postecoglou: I want the focus on us

With the start of the Hyundai A-League season now in sight, Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou has sent a warning to rival clubs - claiming his side are planning a stronger season on the pitch and won’t be “comfortable in the shadows of anyone”.

With the start of the Hyundai A-League season now in sight, Brisbane Roar head coach Ange Postecoglou has sent a warning to rival clubs - claiming his side are planning a stronger season on the pitch and won-t be “comfortable in the shadows of anyone”.

Speaking to the media after putting his squad through their paces in a tough training session, Postecoglou said it wasn-t in the club-s character to play second-fiddle to anyone else in the competition.

His statement comes despite the high-profile signings of Socceroos Brett Emerton at Sydney FC and Harry Kewell at Melbourne Victory earlier in the month and the strong off-season recruitment by last season-s third placed Adelaide United.

“I want the focus on us and I want us to have the headlines,” Postecoglou said. “I don-t believe in this flying under the radar, underdog thing.

“We won the championship last year, deservedly so, and we want to go in this year thinking we are the best team again.

“Rightly so, the off-season headlines have been dominated by particularly Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC but I-m hoping the in-season headlines are about us.

“That-s our intention - we don-t want to hide from anything and we want to carry that attempt to reclaim the title right from the front.

“Certainly in our point of view, we-re not comfortable in the shadows of anyone.”

On the back of a 28-match unbeaten streak, Brisbane were deserved winners of last season-s Hyundai A-League Premiership and Championship, wowing the competition with their free-flowing, attacking style of play that arguably lifted the whole standard of the league.

After the six month off-season, excitement in the Roar camp is ripe and Postecoglou-s mind is focused solely on next weekend-s Grand Final re-match and season opener against Central Coast Mariners.

The current Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year dismissed the importance of pre-season results in the build-up to the competitive season and was looking forward to his team converting their off-season development into points on the Hyundai A-League table.

“I think the only guide you-ve got is last year and I-d suggest we are the team to beat going on last year-s form and it-s up to us to prove otherwise,” Postecoglou said.

“If we start the year not playing well, then we won-t be the team to beat anymore but the reality of it is that last year, we weren-t tipped by anyone to dominate the season.

“The best guide is to look at rounds one, two, three and see how teams go but from our point of view, we-re setting our sights on being successful again and we certainly expect ourselves to be up there, challenging when it-s all done and dusted.”

Postecoglou and his coaching staff have planned for a regular training week in the lead-up to next Saturday-s blockbuster, confident an identical approach from last year would reap similar accolades.

“We go hard all the time, that-s just the way we train and it was a good solid session today. The boys have had a few, good hard ones this week which is our way of doing things,” he said.

“We trained hard all last year throughout the season and we-re just getting back into that rhythm.

“We-ll have our normal week of training next week - we won-t train as long but the intensity that we showed today, we definitely want to carry into the first game.”